It is 6 years compulsory and free primary school from the
children is 6 years. 91% of children attend primary school,
and 50% continue in high school. But there are major
regional differences, and the dropout rate during school
hours is large. The high school is 6 years (3 + 3 years).
The country has two universities in Asuncion, one state and
one Catholic private. In 1991–92 four new universities were
established. According to UNESCO's calculations, approx. 8%
of the adult population illiterate (2001). Check topschoolsintheusa for test centers of ACT, SAT, and GRE as well high schools in the country of Paraguay.
62 years later in another brother war, Paraguay and
Bolivia coalesced in the so-called "Guerra del Chaco"
(1932-35). It was encouraged by the multinational oil
companies who wanted control over the oil sources. Paraguay
won, but lost 50,000 men on the battlefield.
Over a 31-year period, the country had 22 presidents,
until a coup in 1954 brought General Alfredo Stroessner to
power. He descended from Germans, admired Nazism and
protected war criminals who had fled Europe. Stroessner was
"re-elected" seven times - the last time in 1988 - and he
only allowed a legal "opposition" whose leaders were often
appointed by himself.
In the mid-1980's, General Stroessner's regime began to
show signs of exhaustion under the impression of general
tendencies toward democratization in Latin America. The
opposition began to organize with the formation of the Labor
Movement (Movimiento Intersindical de Trabajdores), the
Organization of Native American groups, the formation of the
Permanent Assembly of Peasants without Land (APCT, Asamblea
Permanente de los Campesinos sin Tierras) and the
Coordination of Female Peasants (Coaci de Mujeres
Campesinas). At the same time, the Catholic Church began to
speak in favor of change.
On February 3, 1989, Stroessner was overthrown by a troop
force led by his brother-in-law and First Army Corps
commander, General Andrés Rodríguez. Mr Rodriguez
immediately declared that elections should be held in May of
the same year, which should form the basis for forming a
The election was held on May 1, 1989 with the
participation of the entire opposition - except the
Communist Party which remained illegal. General Rodríguez
was elected president with 68% of the vote, while the main
opposition party, the Autido Liberal Radical Auténtico
(PLRA), received 21%. Despite the presence of several
foreign election observers, a large number of irregularities
were documented in the election proceedings, for which the
traditional governing party, the Partido Colorado, was
responsible. Nevertheless, the opposition considered the
election as the starting point for a democratization process
that was to be carried forward through quick elections to a
Multinational companies today dominate the production of
soy and cotton. 2% of farmers today occupy 85% of Paraguay's
land. Most of the companies and foreign farmers are
concentrated in the border with Brazil - in a land area that
is 2000 km long and 65 km wide. They speak predominantly
Portuguese, and the Brazilian Real is the usual coin.
300-400,000 Brazilians also live in this area next door.
The opening and launching of the huge Itaípu dam at the
border with Brazil further strengthened economic relations
between the two countries.
The agricultural development projects in Caazapa and
Caaguazu - supported by the World Bank - aim to involve and
transform the land of Indians in the eastern part of the
country into cattle enterprises. Instead, the Indians are
stowed together in small sanctuaries in their old areas.
Twelve Native American villages asked the Workers' Union,
the CUT, to represent them in the Constitutional Assembly.
In the election of members to this Assembly in December
1991, CUT decided to support Movimiento Constitución